For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings,
Because they sat too long in their chairs,
And they did not get up enough and stretch.”
-William Shakespeare, RICHARD II Act 3, Scene 2, early draft
The human body is not designed for hours and hours of sitting down. We are designed to be moving as hunter/gatherers throughout the day. Sitting puts the low back (Lumbar spine) in a flexed position, much like bending forward. Sitting with poor posture also puts the neck (Cervical spine) in a flexed and forward jutted position. This constant flexion of the spine puts stress on the intervertebral discs (the shock absorbers of the spine) and moves the disc material which can irritate the spinal nerves and other tissues. This irritation can cause muscle pain or spasm, shooting nerve pain, and numbness in the buttox, legs, arms and hands.
Standing desks have become increasingly more popular in the work place. If you are not able to use a standing desk, implementing a lumbar roll (even a rolled up towel) to support the low back while sitting is an easy and preventative measure to prevent low back pain. Using a lumbar roll will also allow the neck and head to be in a better position which will help prevent forward head carriage. Making sure your computer is at the proper height and angle is also important to maintaining proper posture. Get up and move around, even if just briefly, every hour or so if you sit all day at work.
Pain is the final stage of dysfunction. Preventative measures such as these are an easy way to keep you out of pain and feeling great!!